Today we have a mammoth guitar lesson for you; looking at both Stone Gossard and Mike McCready’s parts to Even Flow from Pearl Jam’s classic 1991 debut album Ten.
Get the tones
Stone used a Les Paul (you'll want to use a bridge humbucker) and Mike used a Strat. They both used cranked Marshalls with Tube Screamers for the most part, so if you have any Maarshall-in-a-box overdrive pedal that will get you in the zone.
For Stone I’m using the Funny Little Boxes 1991 with a hint of reverb. For Mike you need wah, distortion and delay so pick your favourites! I’ve gone for the Empress Heavy, GFI System Digital Delay and Jam Pedals Wahcko.
Mike also switches between neck and bridge pickup throughout and has two different delay settings - a slapback (about 150ms delay) for the verses and one in time with the track (about 570ms with 4 or 5 repeats) for the fills/solo.
Mike is in standard tuning (yay!) but Stone is in open D so you’ll need to tune down four of your strings as below;
E down to D
A stays the same
D stays the same
G down to F#
B down to A
E down to D
D / A / D/ F# / A / D
The original studio recording is actually a bit sharp, but fear not, I have a play along above that I pitch corrected if you fancy playing along. But first, the full video lesson…
Lesson and technique tips
For Stone you need to be loose and funky! There’s plenty of dynamics at play throughout and it’s a great study in embellishing rhythmic parts with slides, open notes, muted strings and palm muting.
Mike veers off with some lovely pentatonic licks in the verse fills/solo, whammy dips in the chorus and for me, his best lick ever in the chorus, so don’t over bend that part! Have fun!